Best New Rock – Hyooman, Mary Devlin, Holy Heat, Stone Cabin

Hyooman prolifically create smart catchy musical sonnets.  Their new album Pilot is full of them.  Every tune is a snapshot of their musical worlds, altogether displaying their conceptual stylistic universe.  Collectively a solid release, there are highlights like Kid.  A solid single with undeniable NPR appeal, we think it’s on the fast track to Fresh Finds. 

  There’s a lot of indie sensibility here.  There’s evidence of the Pixies, Elliot Smith, Alex G, The Shins…. we could keep going.  Bands and artists inspired by a semblance of punk, but with an affinity for yacht grooves and chill affect.  There’s evidence of early Weezer on grooves like So Proud.  There are hints of late 90s pop alternative like on the disconnected Don’t Wanna Be.  

  “Don’t wanna be anyone else that I know.”  It’s the non conformist mantra for jaded kids everywhere.  A broad contempt for anything and everything that “popular.”  The same ethos that launched the movie Garden State to cult status.  Don’t get it twisted, we are 100% complimenting their appeal.  We relish in these sad rock vibes and an unwavering compositional commitment to variation.  It’s the continuation of the sick kid affect known to Nirvana brought out of the grunge world and reimagined lighter and less angry. 

Hyooman dress these tunes with heavy doses of guitar chorus.  They bring interesting syncopation in measured doses, like on the cut time bridge that pulls you back into In a Bad Way.  The rhythm section brings pro status, offering signature tempos without ruining the sanctity of the song. Whenever the section is at risk of becoming monotonous the next section pulls you out. 

  A solid release front to back, get started with Kid now on our Best New Rock Playlist 

Mary Devlin

Mary Devlin has a rock and roll fever.  Bred from the boardwalks of the Jersey Shore, she’s an unassuming rock and roll Princess.  The new single lover’s hands will put her on the map.  These classic guitar heavy vibes fall somewhere between Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac.  Closing out with a flashy guitar solo, Devlin and her band are not messing around.  She belongs on the festival circuit where she can flesh out these jams live.  She would be a must see festival favorite.  Fans looking for the next Bonnie Raitt are going to rave over her bilateral talent.  We’re talking great songwriting and insane guitar skills from her bands lead.  We don’t get a ton of genuine classic rock style music that doesn’t sound dated.  Devlin and her band keep it fresh, with energy and conviction to honor their influences.  She lets this vibe sound young again, when modern day posers typically make it sound tired.    

  She’s been dishing out Zeppelin covers at college gigs where her peers are struggling through the latest Taylor Swift single.  Only her first professional release, and still a little wet behind the ears, Devlin has room to grow.  Lover’s Hands is a solid start.  She’d be smart to connect with other likeminded locals like Fat Mezz.  Jersey is in the midst of a classic rock revival lead by a bunch of bangers in their early 20s.  Devlin could be the female force to even out the playing field.  After all, girls just do it better.  

  Enjoy lover’s hands now on our Best New Rock Playlist

Holy Heat

Holy Heat describe their sound as rock and soul.  Their new single Mud is affirmation of their intent, as this power trio rings with passion on the tracks infectious hook.  The blues rock heavy verses might get you there, but once they drop the chorus the fix is in.  The bands got all the groove and swagger to keep a sweaty southern bar swinging, but its their songwriting that’s going to put them on the map. 

At its core there’s an affinity for southern rock and classic rock trios like The James Gang.  With a flare of soul and indie sensibility they could draw similarities to The Alabama Shakes or The Record Company.  The slow lyrical groove of the verse sections even recalls some cuts by Dawes.  The kicker is a classy slow hand guitar solo that commits to a feel.  Iconic players like Gilmour, Clapton, or even BB King come to mind.  Its’ not all about fast runs, but rather, how you bend the notes against the steady strings that draws melodic fire from your conceptual axe.  They lay some quick runs underneath just to let you know they got the skill, but they’re smart to but the sweet bends on top.

Holy Heat seemingly come out of nowhere with this sneaky debut.  The band is tight and the pro execution speaks to their musical nurturing.  Mud comes radio ready, with a crisp mix and compositional polish that’s prime for rock and blues channels alike.  Only their first release, it’s a solid debut and a fitting calling card to see them play live.  

Enjoy Mud now on our Best New Rock Playlist 

the dystopian desert that bred Stone Cabin

Stone Cabin is the dystopian desert bar Rock of lore.  They pack a lot of stylistic intention into their new EP Black Cactus.  Strong whiskey soaked tones of Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Grunge, and Rockabilly.  All spiced with a southern sensibility and delivered in tight arrangments.  The band is tight, and the collective release displays an attention to detail.  

  With black leather attitude it’s the down home biker band that took you off the beaten path for a proper rock show.  The opening spitfire rock of Branding Iron fits somewhere between the defined riff rock of ZZ Top and the Outlaw aesthetic of Tyler Childers.  There’s hints of rockabilly and Cowboy Punk embraced by the clap back vocal effect. 

 They channel the exotic feel of Morphine on the emotive Desert Heart.  Their lyrics are full of imagery and figurative souvenirs to place this vintage sound.  “As dry bone as a bone, bleached by the sun, the buzzards circle. The men fetch my gun, you can’t rely on the sand on the river bed. You can’t reason the skin at a snake shed, there an’t no water coming from the dry ground. Like the tumbleweed blowing through a ghost town, you can’t please a Desert Heart.”

  The most brooding, atmospheric number is Hanging Tree,  This dark slow crawl blues is rooted in the founders like Robert Johnson, brought through the eastern tinged pop adaptations by the Doors all the way past the grungy update by Soundgarden.  

  Stone Cabin provide the perfect soundtrack for your pre-holiday desert bypass.  Buyer beware, you might conjure the Desert spirits with this classic feel. 

  Beware the Hanging Tree, now on our Best New Rock Playlist 

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